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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:When Men Do Women's Work: Structural Adjustment, Unemployment and Changing Gender Relations in the Informal Economy of Accra, Ghana
Author:Overċ, RagnhildISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:gender roles
informal sector
urban economy
Economics and Trade
Urbanization and Migration
Labor and Employment
Women's Issues
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4501946
Abstract:Economic crisis and structural adjustment in Ghana have put large numbers of formal sector employees and civil servants out of work. This informalization process has gendered consequences. Unemployed people, rural-urban migrants and school-leavers of both genders seek employment in the urban informal economy, and increasingly take up 'female' occupations - particularly in retail trade. Overcrowding in women's economic domains thus occurs. This study examines the livelihood strategies of 100 informally employed men (34) and women (66) in Accra on the basis of a survey conducted in 2003. It argues that gender ideologies regarding appropriate occupations for women and men are continuously adapted in response to a changing political economy. Thus, even if female traders face competition, declining returns and a heavier dependency burden, frustration with government policies failing to create decent jobs (for men) is more prevalent than gender antagonism and ridicule of those who find gender-atypical ways of eking out a living. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]